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What is it like during Easter?


I have been told 2 different stories about being at a resort for Easter:
1)That there isn’t much running because of the holiday
2)They open up the resort to locals(which is fine) and give them cheap or free meals to celebrate and that it can be very busy to even get a meal that day as a visitor.

I am not sure what to believe. I am there for 2 weeks, but I just wanted to know what that Sunday of Easter will be like. We are spending it at the GRAN VENTANA and we have been there 2 times before, and love it.

If anyone can help, please msg me!

Alicia :slight_smile:


Hi Alicia

Easter is a big holiday for Dominicans. It marks the beginning of their summer. Holy Week starts to bet really busy the Wednesday/Thursday before Easter and lasts until Easter Sunday. The resorts are usually at capacity. Some of the locals do stay at the resorts for their holiday. Public beaches are very crowded as many locals like to enjoy a day at the beach. Generally, there are no motorized motor sports during the week.

As for opening up the resort to locals for inexpensive or cheap meals, I have never heard of that but you may want to e-mail the resort and ask if this is the case. You may also want to ask what activities may not be available during this time.

I have been to the DR twice during Holy Week and had a great time. The service remained top notch and I did get a chance to meet some of the Dominican people.

I hope this helps.

  1. All that shuts down is MOTORIZED watersports or excursions which depend on MOTORIZED water craft. Hotel operations are virtually unchanged. (One resort, one year, did give the animacion team the day off on Good Friday - but this is the exception).

  2. If there are empty rooms they may be sold to locals. They pay a proportionately higher price than tourists when income is factored in BUT it may be a lower rate in absolute terms. What is apparent is that they can pack a lot of bodies into the space which we use to sleep only two or three people. Large families occupy a room which is often occupied only by a North American couple. This can put some strains on the resorts facilities BUT remember…

  3. When they come to a resort at Easter the period of most locals is the Wednesday before Good Friday until Easter Sunday. This is the five day period when they head to the beach and eat and drink to excess.

  4. MOST locals eat in the buffets so if you schedule yourself at an a la carte you will miss much of the hustle and bustle.

  5. MOST locals stay at the pools so if you go to the beach you will miss much of the hustle and bustle.

  6. If you are somewhat apprehensive you can plan an excursion for one of the peak days (Friday or Saturday) and be off the resort for a good part of the day.

After lunch on Sunday you will notice a quiet calm settling in at the resort as the locals head home to their lives doing whatever it is that they do and if you have taken advantage of the exposure and made new and wonderful friends of your Dominican hosts - then you will be richer for the experience. If you have cowered in fear at meeting any “locals” then you will be poorer for the missed opportunity.

Dominican people are some of the friendliest and most caring, wonderful people in the world and it will be your loss if you do not take advantage of the opportunity to meet and mingle with them and their families.

Mi dos pesos.




I agree that sharing the resort with the locals makes for a very rich experience. I had more fun the two times I stayed there during Holy week than I did the other times. Yes, the resort was more crowded than when I went at other times but I was able to meet Dominican families and was learn about their way of life. They are very friendly, warm people and that is why I love the Dominican Republic.


Gregg what a great post! I couldn’t agree with you more. I also have been at resorts during the Easter holidays for a 2 week period and have enjoyed talking with the Dominican tourists …they are so friendly and willing to talk about their country and where they’re from… I met a lovely family from Santiago in March at the resort I was staying at in POP … very warm and loving family … they were also, very interested to know more about our little part of the world as many of them can only dream of vacationing outside of the DR …I certainly have learned a great deal from them. I am going back in April 2006 during the Easter break and I am looking forward to my holiday. :sunglasses: :sunglasses:


I agree, and I have been to the DR a few times, and have gone on many excursions, and I am very interested in the locals. I was just worried about meal times because I have 2 little ones that come with me and they like buffet and do not like a la cartes, and are very picky about times of day they eat.

I hope I did not come off like a snot, because besides the sun being a great part of my vacation, so is the people and the whole package experience. I am booking for my parents as well and they are apprehensive about it, and say that all of their friends say that you will never get near the restaurants because of the holiday, and I really don’t want to hear it from them or have them b$tc$ because they aren’t happy about something, that’s all and then have it my fault.

I take my kids with me not just for the vacation, but for the DR experience so maybe they can see another culture and see how lucky(even though we are just avg income family) and that people can have a rich life without all of the fluff that we have here. I consider it educational.

SO please–don’t think my post was snobbish. I just don’t want to tick off my family and have the resort too busy that my little ones can’t eat when they want.


Alicia22. If you have little ones, I am guessing you will get to the restaurants early (especially for the evening meal). Generally, these times are not very busy so you should not have a problem.


Hi Alicia22 … Depending on the resort that your choose …it may not be as busy as others. You may want to go to the buffet as soon as they open. We’ve never had a problem getting a table at the buffet because there were toooo many people …but, we did go early …and I have never seen a line-up of people waiting at the door for a table … the buffet restaurants are usually pretty large and can accomodate a great number of people. I did notice last year that the Dominicans had a section of the Buffet Restaurant reserved for them at our Resort … but, there was lots of room left for everybody there.

I personally don’t think that you have anything to worry about … I know for a fact that the TA’s here are telling people not to go during Easter break …I have been told that myself … but, I’m going again in April during the Easter holiday!

Let us know what you decide … I’m sure you’ll have a great time!


I have read the above and am interested to know what month/day this year (2006) does Good Friday fall on?


lorenei April 14/06 is the day :slight_smile:


I stayed at Gran Ventana in November and just letting you know the buffet seating area is large, 3 covered sections, 1 of which was smoking only. The buffet seating was never full in fact one of the sections quite often only had about 10 to 20 people in it (could easily seat 100 +++)


Thanks Jammies! This will be time number 3 at the Gran Ventana. We love the place and it is a great resort if you have a family. I took my kids when Nick was 1.5 and Bethany was 3.5years. We had lots of fun. This time Nick will be 3.5 and Bethany will be 5.5 years. It has a lot of seating, but I find even when it is not full, it is very hard to get at the food sometimes. I just love to stand back and watch. It is like some of the people at the resort have never eaten before…It is actually quite amusing!!

Thanks for your post!!!

Alicia :slight_smile:


We were at the Breezes during Easter and it was extremely busy. We are beach people so it wasn’t too bad but the pool area was full. It just so happened that we had booked into the al-ac-carte restaurants for Friday and Saturday nights so we didn’t notice the crowds in the buffet. We also had the pleasure of meeting the spouses and children of some of the staff we had become friendly with. I have to say though that the resort takes on a real Dominican feel and is quite nice. A stop into the disco gave us what I considered a free show as they danced to their own music, it was breathtaking. The funniest part for me was when my friend was trying to teach me how to play pool and a group of Dominican pre-teens were at the next table cracking up at me. Finally one boy came over shaking his head and laughing and tried to show me himself. After realizing he was wasting his time, he went back to his friends. The worst part for me was seeing how poorly some of the Dominicans treat their own people, we came across a few really rude people.


We are going to Secrets over the Easter Holiday. If they let locals in , do you think they will let children in with it being adults only?


No, it’s adults only, Easter or not.


Thank you BobFromCanada for your quick reply. See your leaving soon, hope you have a great time.

That’s the plan. ;D